By Mark Memmott
"I've told Sen. Reid that if the bill stays as it is now I will vote against cloture."
So says Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., in a story just posted by Politico.
Translation: Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, will go against the wishes of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and support an attempt by Republicans to filibuster the Reid version of health care legislation if the bill includes the so-called public option.
And Lieberman's vote is critical because without him Democrats wouldn't have the 60 senators they can usually count on for support -- and 60 is the magic number needed to shut down a filibuster.
Lieberman told the Associated Press that he's worried that the public part of the plan would drive up insurance premiums.
One possible point of compromise: Lieberman told the AP is his "open to discussing" a plan that would be set up and run by the states.
Going against his old pals in the Democratic Party is not particularly new for Lieberman. In 2008 he campaigned enthusiastically for Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.